Wenger revives interest in Lyon goalkeeper

Arsene Wenger could be tempted to sign Hugo Lloris this summer after the French international has spoken of his desire to leave Olympique Lyon if a top European club comes calling.

Wenger has been an admirer of the Lyon custodian and even considered signing him a season back to solve the goalkeeping problems Arsenal had at the time.

Reports have emerged saying that Arsenal’s boss might consider bringing the highly rated French goalkeeper to the Emirates as a tough back-up for Szczesny. If the French goalkeeper will be brought to the club, the Pole will certainly face a much tougher competition from him than he did from his co-national Lukas Fabianski.

Fabianski grew frustrated with the lack of chances he had at the club and is expected to depart from Arsenal as soon as the EURO is over, having wanted to do so in the winter as well.

Lloris is presently off to participate in the Euros and his club chairman reveals that he would let him go if a good offer is made.

“I met him before he left for the French team. He told me if there is a proposition from a great European club, he could be tempted to go,” Aulas explained.

“However, I don’t think there is such an offer so far. The big European sides all have quality keepers.”

This will surely not come as good news for Szczesny, but if Lloris will join Arsenal the amazing thing is that whoever will play in the first team will always be kept on his toes by the competition.

Arsenal, Spurs and Magpies In a Tussle Over Afellay

Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay could be the epicenter of a bidding war between North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, with Newcastle in the fray as well.

Afellay spent most of last season recovering from a knee surgery, and with the Catalan club looking to strengthen their squad, they have decided to offload Afellay who is deemed surplus to their requirements at Camp Nou. The Dutchman is currently on national duty and impressed in the recent 5-0 hammering of Northern Ireland in a friendly.

Barcelona are understood to be looking for a fee of around £6m which is likely to be met by his Premier League suitors. The 26 year old will be keen on playing Champions League football and hence could likely opt to sign for Arsenal, though his wage demands could be an issue given Wenger’s rigid wage structure at the club. Harry Redknapp has been a long term admirer of the Dutchman and has failed twice in landing him previously.

Newcastle have emerged as another possible destination for Afellay, with the Magpies willing to offer him an attractive salary  but it remains to be seen if the former PSV midfielder can be persuaded into joining them. Arsenal are currently the frontrunners to land him given their club captain’s personal relations with Afellay, but with both Tottenham and Newcastle likely to offer higher wages, it is interesting to see what the player opts for; Champions League football or higher pay.

Real Madrid give up on Ivanovic transfer

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has apparently given up on signing Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic from Chelsea this summer.

Mourinho was rumored to be interested in signing the strong Chelsea defender this summer but Chelsea have no intentions of selling him. The 28 year old has a contract till 2016 at Stamford Bridge and has recently in an interview stated his desire to stay with the European champions.

‘I’m very happy with Chelsea, I have just won the Champions League. A change is complicated, I am very happy in London’, Ivanovic said.

According to sources it is Chelsea’s evaluation of the player that has put off Real Madrid’s interest in him. The club officials at the Bernabeu have decided not to follow up their interest in the player as they believe £23m for the defender is too much. Napoli are also interested in Ivanovic, but it is not likely they can match Chelsea’s asking price for him.

The Serbian center half who can also fill in as the right back has been a key figure in Chelsea’s Champions League winning campaign last season. With almost 4 years still left on his current contract, Ivanovic looks set to stay at Chelsea.




Hummels Snubs Manchester United Offer

Borussia Dortmund center half Matt Hummels has been tied down with a 5 year contract at the club amidst growing speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United’s Old Trafford.

The 23 year old German defender was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United this summer. Sir Alex Ferguson had identified Hummels as a long term successor to Rio Ferdinand who has been troubled by hamstring problems over the last couple of seasons, but just prior to leaving for the Euros, the highly rated defender has committed his future at the Westfalenstadion.

“As soon as the club approached me and asked if I would like to extend, I knew immediately that I want to continue being part of this team, which is so successful and is so much fun to be in,” he said.

Hummels has established himself as one of Europe’s finest over the last two seasons, helping Dortmund clinch consecutive Bundesliga titles. He has been a key figure at the heart of their defense and is once again expected to shoulder the defensive responsibilities of Germany during the Euros.

With most young and promising players heading towards England, Hummels’ decision comes as a surprise. This acquisition, however, could help Dortmund go a long way in establishing themselves as a powerhouse of Europe in the years to come, as they’re looking to win as many trophies in Europe as they did in the Bundesliga.

Liverpool and Arsenal Set To Fight For Star Playmaker

Liverpool and Arsenal are set to fight over talented Moroccan playmaker Younes Belhanda according to reports coming from France.

The attacking midfielder has had a great season for the Ligue 1 champions and is currently under the radar of many top clubs in Europe. Rene Girard, Montpellier’s manager, shifted Belhanda into the playmaker position at the beginning of last season; a move which paid dividends as the new no.10 turned into a fine player in this newly found role. Arsenal scout Giles Grimandi along with former Reds boss Kenny Dalglish were both present at the Stade de la Mosson to watch the 22 year old in action against Toulouse back in May and came back impressed with Belhanda as he scored to help his side clinch a 1-0 victory.

Ligue 1 runners up Paris Saint Germain are also interested in the attacking midfielder, but it is highly unlikely that Montpellier will sell their top playmaker to a team who will be in direct competition with them for the title next season. Montpellier owner Louis Nicollin is determined to sell the player to a club outside of France even at the cost of losing out on a higher transfer fee.

Brendan Rodgers is in search of new players to bolster his squad as he aims to reestablish Liverpool as title contenders next season. With the departure of Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard’s intermittent injury problems, the Anfield officials may look to Belhanda to solve their midfield worries. With the asking price set to be at £15m, it remains to be seen if Arsene Wenger can break the bank to sign this exciting playmaker or not.

Where should the highly rated Moroccan go?